Just last year, Amazon surpassed Walmart as the world's biggest retailer. With the rise of bargain-hunting consumers who are not only looking for good deals, but also convenience, online shopping is transforming the entire retail industry.
If you're a frequent Amazon shopper, you probably already know about all the perks that come with a Prime membership, including free one- and two-day shipping, music and video streaming, access to a huge e-book library and more.
But there are some lesser-known ways to save even more money on Amazon — with or without Prime!
10 secret money-saving tricks for shopping on Amazon
1. You can trade in your gadgets for cash
You can send in your old gadgets, including phones, tablets, cameras and more, as well as old books and textbooks in exchange for an Amazon gift card. The items must be in decent condition and the shipping is even included!
2. Amazon price matches TVs
If you buy a TV and a find a better price somewhere within 30 days (on Amazon or at another retailer), Amazon will match the price and send you a refund in the form of a gift card.
3. Get used, opened or refurbished items on super deep discount
Amazon sells items that are used, opened, damaged or refurbished at super discounted prices. Available products range from TVs and electronics to home goods and smart thermostats. Items are listed by quality, including very good, acceptable and like new.
If you aren't concerned about original packaging or something being slightly used, this is a great way to score a deal on items that would typically cost you a whole lot more! Check out the Amazon warehouse page here.
4. Students can save even more
Being a student typically comes with a tight budget, so Amazon offers students a free six-month Prime membership. When the six-month trial is up, you can renew the subscription for only $49 — half of the regular annual membership fee — for up to four years.
The retailer also offers students other special deals and discounts.
Read more: 27 discounts you can get with a student ID
5. Amazon has an outlet
This is where you'll find the suuuuuuper discounted prices. Amazon Outlet offers products in pretty much every category that are on clearance — and these deals can save you up to 80%!
6. Parents get special perks
Amazon Family offers special deals and discounts on things like household goods and age-based product recommendations, as well as 20% off diaper subscriptions and 15% off any remaining baby registry items. Check it out here.
7. Share your Prime membership
Amazon does allow you to add other individuals onto your Prime account, but technically they should be members of your household. Here’s what Amazon says about sharing Prime benefits:
"Free or paid Amazon Prime members can share their shipping benefits with up to four additional family members living in the same household. If you purchase a Prime membership for a small business, you may invite up to four co-workers to shop with this corporate account."
But it doesn't seem like these guidelines are super strict. People sharing your Prime benefits can ship to multiple addresses, so it’s currently possible to add a friend or family member who doesn’t live with you. And then you can split the cost of the standard $99 annual membership.
Just to note: Amazon could make this more difficult at any time, so you have to decide for yourself how you use your subscription service.
8. You can shop on Amazon using points
If you have credit card rewards points, you can use them for purchases on Amazon. Just use that card to make the purchase and apply however many points you want to go toward that transaction at the time of check-out.
9. Get your money back for missed delivery dates
If you purchase something that qualifies for free shipping with Amazon Prime and it doesn't come on time, you may be able to get a one-month extension of your membership for free. If you don't have Prime, Amazon will refund the shipping costs if the item arrives late. More details here.
10. Save on everyday items with Subscribe & Save
On many household essentials and grocery items, Amazon offers you the option to “subscribe” to the product and offers a discounted price if you do so. This is the retailer’s Subscribe and Save program.
You’ll receive regular shipments of the item you subscribed to, but for as much as 15% off the regular price. So for things you regularly buy, this is a great way to save!